MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 6, 2013

Area's federal contractors not yet worried

Local manufacturers with federal contracts don’t anticipate an immediate impact on their businesses as a result of the partial government shutdown.

Marie Seabolt, the acting director of the Muskogee City-County Port Authority’s business development arm, said most of the manufacturers with whom she has visited “do not seem too concerned at this point.”

“For most of them who have been awarded federal contracts the funding has already been budgeted, so that won’t impact them in the short term,” she said. “There are some, however, who are waiting for a response to their bids, so that process might be delayed.”

The failure of Congress to fund government operations, which stems from ideological differences regarding the Affordable Care Act, is expected to hit defense contractors the hardest. The Aerospace Industries Association issued a statement Friday that described the government shutdown as “a tragic mistake” that will unnecessarily harm the economy.

Amanda Clinton, a spokeswoman for the Cherokee Nation, said one division of Cherokee Nation Businesses has been “somewhat affected” by the shutdown. She said it was “important to note” that “Cherokee Nation Entertainment and Cherokee Nation Industries are entirely unaffected by the government shutdown.”

“In CNB’s diversified businesses sector, we supply 1,200 contractors to federal offices in more than 40 states,” Clinton said. “A little more than 10 percent have been deemed nonessential and ordered not to work by the federal government.”

Clinton said those CNB workers who have accrued paid time off may draw from that so they can continue drawing a paycheck during the budget impasse.

“It’s a very fluid situation, and we are unsure as to how it will impact our businesses in the long run, but we are monitoring the situation day by day and hour by hour,” she said. “We share the same hope as everyone else — that Congress can resolve this issue swiftly.”

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or dsmoot@muskogeephoenix.com.

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